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SDCC Interview: Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon Talk TWO BROTHERS, Comics and Influences

At San Diego Comic-Con, I had the honor of interviewing Eisner Award winners (Daytripper) Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon. I was really excited about this interview because I’m a huge fan of their work. Their stories are very unique and stand out from the rest of the stories out there. In this interview, Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon talk about their newest graphic novel Two Brothers, comics and about some of their influences.

Chris Salce: First of all, I just want to say that I’m a huge fan of the both of you. I started out with reading ‘Umbrella Academy’ [which Gabriel Bá did the art for] and then that got me reading all of your work. Your work is very impactful and emotional, what were some things that influenced you?

Gabriel Bá: I think maybe novels or movies because you see a lot more emotion. Novels are introspective and they play with the emotions of the reader a lot more than we are used to seeing in comics. And also in movies because they are a very powerful medium and you can use silence and music to play with that and we thought comics are great for this but there’s just not too many people working with that stuff. We also used to love poetry when we were teenagers and there’s this poetic aspect of comics, working with the reader and choosing the right words to say things, it’s kind of like writing a song. All these things, they are perfect to tell emotional stories or to put emotion in the stories. I think that just paved the way to the kinds of comics that we want to do.

Chris Salce: What can you tell me about your new graphic novel, ‘Two Brothers’?

Fábio Moon: ‘Two Brothers’ is a very strong relationship story, family and drama that takes place of sixty years of this family’s life, so we are going to see and follow the family from many different time periods in Brazil’s history and so it’s all about how their choices effect each others lives. Throughout this time, the city is changing so much so it’s how you maintain your sense of identity with the people you live with and the place you live in, and how when that changes, what’s happening and how that’s a metaphor, like the changes in the city are like changes to the family and the other way around. It’s just a big emotional story about people and peoples perceptions of each other. I think that’s how strong having the two main characters be twin brothers because people already have a preconception of what twins are and everybody thinks twins are the same. [Twins] are the perfect metaphor to how different people can be and how going down different paths leads to different things. People think twins think the same things and are the same person and always think twins get along, so it’s hard for people around twins to understand that they are different.

Chris Salce: Going on that, my brother and I are currently making a comic book together and I want to know, how is it like for you two to often work together? Is it easier working with your brother?

Gabriel Bá: Not that it’s easier but we do know each other very well and we are always on the same page on the story, and we must be on the same page in order for the story to move forward, so we never take projects that one of us likes and the other one doesn’t because it all takes so much time. It’s so hard to make comics, so we have to choose projects that both of us believe in and want to dive into. We only do what we both feel is right. It doesn’t matter who came up with it, we know what’s better for the story.

Fábio Moon: Yeah, I think that when we started reading comics, we had no idea that comics were made by people and sometimes made by a lot of people, so it was just we were experiencing the stories, diving into the stories and caring about the story and the characters and I think we always had the impression that the author should be invisible and people have to believe and dive into the story. I think that kind of guides how we work. In the end, we always think that creating this world, the readers will relate, think and react. Every struggle that we have, we talk about how we are going to make that illusion work, it makes it easier when we have disagreements and how to go through that.

Chris Salce: I’ve noticed that about your work that you guys are very story driven and emotion and feeling is very much the center of it all. When did you guys figure out that you were going to make comic books and how you were going to do them?

Gabriel Bá: Those things happened at very different times.

Fábio Moon: Yeah…but you know, we figured out that we wanted to make comics around the age of fourteen because in the early nineties, it was a very interesting age of four comics, graphic novels, great superhero stories and also the books we were reading, so at the same time, we were reading things like Will Eisner and ordinary life stories and books about ordinary life in Brazil. They just started making sense together, that we love comics, that’s what we want to do and we love these kinds of stories, maybe we can do that in comics. To figure out how to do that, took us maybe ten years or so. It’s important to keep reading different things, discovering new authors and coming here helped us a lot because we discovered a lot of creators and books that don’t cross the ocean to Brazil or to international markets, it’s not mainstream, you don’t hear about them. It was important for us to see different work, to see people working with different superheroes and that was really encouraging for us, that we can make anything, it’s possible. Even though our books are not mainstream, not big hits but it’s something that we want to do and we believe in and that’s an ever expanding and learning experience. We are always learning more with things that we see and read and always discover things that we try to put into comics, I think that’s never going to end.

Two Brothers will be available October 14 but you can pre-order it now at Dark Horse.com.